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calendar   Tuesday - January 27, 2009

125-year-old rescue plea written in Arabic on a tiny scrap of paper by General Gordon of Khartoum.

HERE WE GO AGAIN.  HISTORY. LOVE IT! BUT ...

Gee I can not believe something like this would start that low.  But that’s me and I’m batpoo for things like this.

No kidding.  If we were still in a DOT COM bull market bubble I’d jump all over this.

This was an age when the Brits faced off the world and feared nothing! 

Historic rescue plea from General Gordon in besieged Khartoum on sale
This 125-year-old rescue plea written in Arabic on a tiny scrap of paper by General Gordon of Khartoum is up for auction.


Last Updated: 12:05AM GMT 27 Jan 2009

The size of a postage stamp, the note indicates that the doomed Army officer expected troops to liberate him from the Sudanese capital.

General Charles George Gordon was part-way through the 10-month siege that led to his death when he sent the note, dated June 1884, back to friendly forces outside the city.

It was hidden in the hair of runner Mahamed Ahmed who smuggled it past the surrounding enemy.

image
General Gordon asked for news of his rescue and detailed the number of people who needed saving from the Sudanese Mahdists.

It reads: “Mudir of Dongola Khartoum and Senaar, in perfect security Mahamed Ahmed carries this to give you news.

“On his reaching you give him all the news as to the direction and position of the relieving force and their numbers.

“As for Khartoum there are in it 8,000 men and the Nile is rapidly rising. On arrival of the bearer give him 100 reals mejide’h from the States, C G Gordon.”

However, when the troops finally arrived seven months later, he had already been decapitated by enemy forces who had heard the British rescuers were on their way.

The press blamed Prime Minister William Gladstone for being too slow in sending troops and even Queen Victoria criticised him.

The note surfaced at a stamp fair about 30 years ago and is being sold at auction with a guide price of £700.

Richard Westwood-Brookes, from Mullock’s auctioneers in Ludlow, Shropshire, said: “The bit of paper is only one inch by two inches and it is incredible it has survived.

“The note was written in Gordon’s hand and was probably smuggled out of Khartoum in a runner’s hair.

“He would have taken huge risks because he would probably have been searched by the Mahdist forces who surrounded the city.

“It is likely he would have taken it to a friendly tribe and then it would have had to have ended up in Cairo because that was the only way of communicating with the British.”

The auction, at Ludlow Racecourse, is on Jan 29.

Chinese Gordon


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/27/2009 at 05:46 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryUK •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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